The Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro is well implemented, but serves no useful purpose

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  • Reply 101 of 189
    LatkoLatko Posts: 140member
    Yes, I also learned after a year of use it’s a pretty useless tool. I hope they’ll offer a high end one without Touch Bar to save some money.
    Phil Schiller is the only guy I know who uses it (and sadly I'm unable to mention you anything that came out of his hands, since...)
    edited July 8
  • Reply 102 of 189
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,279member
    darkpaw said:
    The MBP with a Touch Bar comes with Touch ID. They are not currently separate, so it's absolutely fine for me to claim it's part of it. It's right next to it and has the same dimensions. It's designed to look like a part of it. The Touch Bar points to it when you need to use Touch ID.
    They absolutely ARE separate. One is a touch sensitive rectangular screen, the other is a physical switch with a fingerprint reader. They're not even physically attached to each other. Where the two controls are physically situated and what they look like is irrelevant.

    You said you like the Touch Bar because you like Touch ID. I'm saying the two have nothing to do with each other, and you could have Touch ID without needing the Touch Bar. You could punch holes in the Touch Bar with an ice pick and still have all the advantages of Touch ID because it's a separate control.

    The utility of the Touch Bar is not tied to the existence of Touch ID. Either may exist without the other.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 103 of 189
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,737member
    lorin schultz said:
    I don't expect Apple to completely rework the UI to make macOS a touch environment. Through our experience with the iPad we already know that doing so would just impose its own set of limitations. Just add touch capability in addition to the input methods we already have, i.e. keyboard and pointer.
    Would the 'touch targets' be usable, though? Or, isn't the laptop screen going to move back away from your finger when you touch? Fingerprints?

    I agree that maybe they should just add it (at least as an option), but I tend to think they are correct about it being less-than-optimal experience. But, somewhat like the iPad mini (where the argument was the scaled down size wasn't optimal... which it isn't), people will use and like something that is less than optimal.

    bblackbird said:
    ... This is the first computer that Apple has made that he cannot use at all. He actually bought one and had to return it when he couldn't use it. ...
    I get the impression this was something that just wasn't well thought through. They wanted to do another "can't innovate, my ___" things by putting some fancy tech into the MBP... possibly even to hit some spec-sheet points (OLED, touch-screen, etc?).

    Yeah, Apple talks a good game about accessibility, and they are still one of the best. But, I get the impression it is more an afterthought now and marketing point than it once was. At least some of the teams at Apple just don't seem to even know about it anymore.
  • Reply 104 of 189
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 315member
    I could be a bit geeky on this topic, but whatever.

    From what I've gathered, most who said "no" on the touch bar simply didn't get the benefit, since they all can remember where shortcuts are and living with that for a decade. Adding a slider or certain new functions won't do any good.  There is one though, that actually thinks the touch bar actually speeds up his debugging process.

    Second, the current UI are too complex.  Even people knew that they can hit the left corner for esc, sometimes is complete covered by a close button.  That's one issue that I have in the Apple store, which I thought the MacBook Pros simply freeze.  It's also annoying that you have to hold and get the sliders, or only shows four settings, which you have to expand every time just to get something more.

    About the "remembering where the key goes", It only need some practice.  Of course that some feedback would be nice, but I don't think is impossible to do without.  Just set an environment with what you need, and practice overtime.

    Lastly, I think it might be better to just let the communities to explore.  I know their guidelines prohibit anything "dynamic", but that's a wasted potential.  Touch bar can be pretty good at handling secondary functions, adding a tiny clock or even system monitoring software doesn't seem too bad.  In fact that's what some people did in BetterTouchTool.  It also offers deep customization (even the one that wouldn't allowed before) and able to swap presets within apps.  Besides, there is a way to utilize the Taptic Engine under your trackpad to give the touch bar a haptic feedback, as well as adding audible one.  I think there are quiet the potential, it's just not in the right hands.

    https://folivora.ai
    https://www.haptictouchbar.com

    http://vas3k.com/blog/touchbar/
    This is the one article that shares his experience, and how he customized it.
    edited July 8
  • Reply 105 of 189
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,279member
    cgWerks said:
    Would the 'touch targets' be usable, though?
    I'll use my experience with the Windows touch screen device I used in the control room for two years as the baseline for my responses.

    Some targets are perfect for touch, others are not. That's fine, though. Touch is just another interaction method in addition to the ones that already exist. If a particular control is better manipulated with a pointer than touch, like pull-down menus, use the pointer the same way you always have. Other controls are really easy to touch. For those, use your fingertip. Just do whatever is most convenient at any given moment. You don't even have to do it the same way every time. There's no need to rework the interface.

    It's no different than my iPhone. Sometimes I press buttons to access something, other times I ask Siri to do it. It depends on what's easiest or most practical at that particular moment. Same with touch on the computer. I just use whatever method seems best at the time.

    Some things simply can't be accomplished any way other than touch, such as dragging one control up while also turning another one down. Pro Tools provides a companion iPad app to let me do that, but it would be easier (and cheaper and lighter) to do it on the primary device rather than requiring a sidecar. The controls are already there on the screen. Duplicating them somewhere else seems like deliberately avoiding an obvious solution.

    cgWerks said:
    Or, isn't the laptop screen going to move back away from your finger when you touch?
    Depends how hard you press, I guess. I accidentally press or swipe the screen on my 2016 MBP-TB all the time and it hasn't been an issue. It wiggles a little, but doesn't reposition the hinge. Even if it did, I'd accept that comparatively minor inconvenience to gain the exponentially more important benefits.

    cgWerks said:
    Fingerprints?
    Why is this an issue for Macs but not iPhones or iPads? How is it any different? You wipe it off once in a while.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 106 of 189
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 315member
    Latko said:
    Yes, I also learned after a year of use it’s a pretty useless tool. I hope they’ll offer a high end one without Touch Bar to save some money.
    Phil Schiller is the only guy I know who uses it (and sadly I'm unable to mention you anything that came out of his hands, since...)
    They wouldn't share their experience anyway.
  • Reply 107 of 189
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,279member
    Take a look at these screens and figure out how a Touch Bar or trackpad could be implemented in a way that makes them a better solution than a touch screen?

    Note that all of them include controls that are not well suited to touch. For those, we use the keyboard or trackpad.

    The primary functions are MUCH more easily accomplished with touch. Some can ONLY be accomplished with touch.









    edited July 8 cgWerks
  • Reply 108 of 189
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 315member
    Take a look at these screens and figure out how a Touch Bar or trackpad could be implemented in a way that makes them a better solution than a touch screen?

    Note that all of them include controls that are not well suited to touch. For those, we use the keyboard or trackpad.

    The primary functions are MUCH more easily accomplished with touch. Some can ONLY be accomplished with touch.









    That's what I thought at the first place when I got a 2-in-1.  But then I just get lazy and move the cursor with my trackpad.

    Other than that, if you want to have a laptop with a touch screen, the hinge must be sturdy, but at the same time easy to open (It has to be sturdy, otherwise it feels QC are not there).  It's next to impossible without some really complex design, check out Yoga or Surface Book and see how the hinge stands out.
  • Reply 109 of 189
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,380member

    Soli said:

    PS: The best place for virtual sliders, both vertical and horizontal would probably be the trackpad. It's been a glass covered, capacitance matrix like on iOS devices for many years and in more recent years it's moved to being static and using a haptic engine to brilliantly simulate being physically depressed. If Apple can make this an LED-based display you could have horizontal  sliders for video and photo editing (like we see now with the Touch Bar), you could have multiple vertical sliders for audio equalizers and a number pad for Calculator instead of using the horizontal row of keys or using the mouse pointer to click virtual buttons on screen to name just a couple examples. This could also be useful for fullscreen apps so that parts of the Menu Bar could be displayed at the top o the trackpad's display. The sky's the limit here.

    The question I have about using the trackpad as a contextual control is how and when it changes from a cursor controller to a function-specific control. That is, how does it know when to switch from being a cursor controller to being a calculator instead? Once it's a calculator, how do I control the cursor?

    It's not an insurmountable obstacle, but it adds a layer of complication that doesn't exist with the Touch Bar. It may work out better than the strip we have now, but I'm not sure it's better enough to justify the cost.
    That’s a good question and shows that you’re thinking about the logistics.

    If we went back to the original Mac trackpad I’d say it wouldn’t be feasible, but with the current trackpad’s size (along with other advancements, like palm recognition), some or all of an LED-based trackpad could be used in various ways.

    As previously mentioned, with fullscreen apps maybe the right-hand side of the Menu Bar items could be placed on the top of the trackpad where we rarely tap. Or maybe app specific feature.

    For other apps, ike Adobe Lightroom, you have slider tools taking up the top 1/3 or the trackpad. Or, maybe even the entire trackpad if you have an external mouse or trackpad connected, which seems popular with many professionals using MBPs and professional editing tools.

    And if you ever wanted to get the full trackpad back—which would simply turn it to black with no additional power being used since it would an OLED or micro-LED display—you might hit a circle with an ‘X’ in it in the upper left-hand corner of the trackpad, a button on the main display or dropdown item from the Menu Bar for the app, or a keyboard shortcut.

    The T1 chip may not be powerful enough to run this, but a future T-series chip surely could.

    Unlike other paths I see Apple heading down I hold no stock in the concept I’ve set forth in this thread, but I do belinot be it’s possible, I do think it could offer a clear utility, and I do believe that only Apple could pull this off properly.
  • Reply 110 of 189
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 315member
    Soli said:

    Soli said:

    PS: The best place for virtual sliders, both vertical and horizontal would probably be the trackpad. It's been a glass covered, capacitance matrix like on iOS devices for many years and in more recent years it's moved to being static and using a haptic engine to brilliantly simulate being physically depressed. If Apple can make this an LED-based display you could have horizontal  sliders for video and photo editing (like we see now with the Touch Bar), you could have multiple vertical sliders for audio equalizers and a number pad for Calculator instead of using the horizontal row of keys or using the mouse pointer to click virtual buttons on screen to name just a couple examples. This could also be useful for fullscreen apps so that parts of the Menu Bar could be displayed at the top o the trackpad's display. The sky's the limit here.

    The question I have about using the trackpad as a contextual control is how and when it changes from a cursor controller to a function-specific control. That is, how does it know when to switch from being a cursor controller to being a calculator instead? Once it's a calculator, how do I control the cursor?

    It's not an insurmountable obstacle, but it adds a layer of complication that doesn't exist with the Touch Bar. It may work out better than the strip we have now, but I'm not sure it's better enough to justify the cost.
    That’s a good question and shows that you’re thinking about the logistics.

    If we went back to the original Mac trackpad I’d say it wouldn’t be feasible, but with the current trackpad’s size (along with other advancements, like palm recognition), some or all of an LED-based trackpad could be used in various ways.

    As previously mentioned, with fullscreen apps maybe the right-hand side of the Menu Bar items could be placed on the top of the trackpad where we rarely tap. Or maybe app specific feature.

    For other apps, ike Adobe Lightroom, you have slider tools taking up the top 1/3 or the trackpad. Or, maybe even the entire trackpad if you have an external mouse or trackpad connected, which seems popular with many professionals using MBPs and professional editing tools.

    And if you ever wanted to get the full trackpad back—which would simply turn it to black with no additional power being used since it would an OLED or micro-LED display—you might hit a circle with an ‘X’ in it in the upper left-hand corner of the trackpad, a button on the main display or dropdown item from the Menu Bar for the app, or a keyboard shortcut.

    The T1 chip may not be powerful enough to run this, but a future T-series chip surely could.

    Unlike other paths I see Apple heading down I hold no stock in the concept I’ve set forth in this thread, but I do belinot be it’s possible, I do think it could offer a clear utility, and I do believe that only Apple could pull this off properly.
    Isn't that what Asus is trying to do?  To bring a touch-screen Trackpad in their laptop.
  • Reply 111 of 189
    timrandtimrand Posts: 10member
    I must say I love it for filing email into folders. Mail learns quickly which folder and places it in the Touch Bar. 
  • Reply 112 of 189
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,380member
    DuhSesame said:
    Soli said:

    Soli said:

    PS: The best place for virtual sliders, both vertical and horizontal would probably be the trackpad. It's been a glass covered, capacitance matrix like on iOS devices for many years and in more recent years it's moved to being static and using a haptic engine to brilliantly simulate being physically depressed. If Apple can make this an LED-based display you could have horizontal  sliders for video and photo editing (like we see now with the Touch Bar), you could have multiple vertical sliders for audio equalizers and a number pad for Calculator instead of using the horizontal row of keys or using the mouse pointer to click virtual buttons on screen to name just a couple examples. This could also be useful for fullscreen apps so that parts of the Menu Bar could be displayed at the top o the trackpad's display. The sky's the limit here.

    The question I have about using the trackpad as a contextual control is how and when it changes from a cursor controller to a function-specific control. That is, how does it know when to switch from being a cursor controller to being a calculator instead? Once it's a calculator, how do I control the cursor?

    It's not an insurmountable obstacle, but it adds a layer of complication that doesn't exist with the Touch Bar. It may work out better than the strip we have now, but I'm not sure it's better enough to justify the cost.
    That’s a good question and shows that you’re thinking about the logistics.

    If we went back to the original Mac trackpad I’d say it wouldn’t be feasible, but with the current trackpad’s size (along with other advancements, like palm recognition), some or all of an LED-based trackpad could be used in various ways.

    As previously mentioned, with fullscreen apps maybe the right-hand side of the Menu Bar items could be placed on the top of the trackpad where we rarely tap. Or maybe app specific feature.

    For other apps, ike Adobe Lightroom, you have slider tools taking up the top 1/3 or the trackpad. Or, maybe even the entire trackpad if you have an external mouse or trackpad connected, which seems popular with many professionals using MBPs and professional editing tools.

    And if you ever wanted to get the full trackpad back—which would simply turn it to black with no additional power being used since it would an OLED or micro-LED display—you might hit a circle with an ‘X’ in it in the upper left-hand corner of the trackpad, a button on the main display or dropdown item from the Menu Bar for the app, or a keyboard shortcut.

    The T1 chip may not be powerful enough to run this, but a future T-series chip surely could.

    Unlike other paths I see Apple heading down I hold no stock in the concept I’ve set forth in this thread, but I do belinot be it’s possible, I do think it could offer a clear utility, and I do believe that only Apple could pull this off properly.
    Isn't that what Asus is trying to do?  To bring a touch-screen Trackpad in their laptop.
    I like Asus as I’ve had nothing but good results with their build quality, battery life, and price points over the years, but Asus has the same unfortunate limitations as all WinPC vendors. There’s just no way they can make that a great feature.

    We saw the same thing with all the facepalming attempts to add a dynamic buttons bar before Apple came out with the Touch Bar. Even now they can’t match the synergy of a company like Apple that makes the PC, the OSes (don’t forget the T1 OS forked from watchOS), and custome silicon to tie it all together.

    Remember all the issue Synaptics had with WinPC trackpads? Has that ever been fully resolved?

    • https://www.cnet.com/videos/asus-zenbook-pro-turns-your-touchpad-into-a-second-screen/
    edited July 8
  • Reply 113 of 189
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 315member
    Soli said:
    DuhSesame said:
    Soli said:

    Soli said:

    PS: The best place for virtual sliders, both vertical and horizontal would probably be the trackpad. It's been a glass covered, capacitance matrix like on iOS devices for many years and in more recent years it's moved to being static and using a haptic engine to brilliantly simulate being physically depressed. If Apple can make this an LED-based display you could have horizontal  sliders for video and photo editing (like we see now with the Touch Bar), you could have multiple vertical sliders for audio equalizers and a number pad for Calculator instead of using the horizontal row of keys or using the mouse pointer to click virtual buttons on screen to name just a couple examples. This could also be useful for fullscreen apps so that parts of the Menu Bar could be displayed at the top o the trackpad's display. The sky's the limit here.

    The question I have about using the trackpad as a contextual control is how and when it changes from a cursor controller to a function-specific control. That is, how does it know when to switch from being a cursor controller to being a calculator instead? Once it's a calculator, how do I control the cursor?

    It's not an insurmountable obstacle, but it adds a layer of complication that doesn't exist with the Touch Bar. It may work out better than the strip we have now, but I'm not sure it's better enough to justify the cost.
    That’s a good question and shows that you’re thinking about the logistics.

    If we went back to the original Mac trackpad I’d say it wouldn’t be feasible, but with the current trackpad’s size (along with other advancements, like palm recognition), some or all of an LED-based trackpad could be used in various ways.

    As previously mentioned, with fullscreen apps maybe the right-hand side of the Menu Bar items could be placed on the top of the trackpad where we rarely tap. Or maybe app specific feature.

    For other apps, ike Adobe Lightroom, you have slider tools taking up the top 1/3 or the trackpad. Or, maybe even the entire trackpad if you have an external mouse or trackpad connected, which seems popular with many professionals using MBPs and professional editing tools.

    And if you ever wanted to get the full trackpad back—which would simply turn it to black with no additional power being used since it would an OLED or micro-LED display—you might hit a circle with an ‘X’ in it in the upper left-hand corner of the trackpad, a button on the main display or dropdown item from the Menu Bar for the app, or a keyboard shortcut.

    The T1 chip may not be powerful enough to run this, but a future T-series chip surely could.

    Unlike other paths I see Apple heading down I hold no stock in the concept I’ve set forth in this thread, but I do belinot be it’s possible, I do think it could offer a clear utility, and I do believe that only Apple could pull this off properly.
    Isn't that what Asus is trying to do?  To bring a touch-screen Trackpad in their laptop.
    I like Asus as I’ve had nothing but good results with their build quality, battery life, and price points over the years, but Asus has the same unfortunate limitations as all WinPC vendors. There’s just no way they can make that a great feature.

    We saw the same thing with all the facepalming attempts to add a dynamic buttons bar before Apple came out with the Touch Bar. Even now they can’t match the synergy of a company like Apple that makes the PC, the OSes (don’t forget the T1 OS forked from watchOS), and custome silicon to tie it all together.

    Remember all the issue Synaptics had with WinPC trackpads? Has that ever been fully resolved?

    • https://www.cnet.com/videos/asus-zenbook-pro-turns-your-touchpad-into-a-second-screen/
    That's one challenge, I doubt it will interested more developers to do such a thing.  Other than that, I don't think remembering keys on a two-dimensional surface is easier compared to a touch bar (A slider like you suggested might work, though).

    As for the quality, I also have doubt on that.  They advertised their ZenBooks being "Unibody" and if not sturdier than "Common laptop" by using stronger 6013 aluminum, but it's only a thin piece of aluminum shell build on top of a plastic support.  Many people noticed the case flex when typing, and simply because the strength of their design.  That's not saying they could break easily, but definitely not the same standard compared to a Mac.
  • Reply 114 of 189
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,737member
    DuhSesame said:
    From what I've gathered, most who said "no" on the touch bar simply didn't get the benefit, since they all can remember where shortcuts are and living with that for a decade. Adding a slider or certain new functions won't do any good.  There is one though, that actually thinks the touch bar actually speeds up his debugging process.
    ...
    Lastly, I think it might be better to just let the communities to explore.  I know their guidelines prohibit anything "dynamic", but that's a wasted potential.  Touch bar can be pretty good at handling secondary functions, adding a tiny clock or even system monitoring software doesn't seem too bad.  In fact that's what some people did in BetterTouchTool.  It also offers deep customization (even the one that wouldn't allowed before) and able to swap presets within apps.  Besides, there is a way to utilize the Taptic Engine under your trackpad to give the touch bar a haptic feedback, as well as adding audible one.  I think there are quiet the potential, it's just not in the right hands.
    Sort of... yes. I think the TouchBar is nice as an auxiliary, always-there display, kind of like the menu-bar used to be (and still is, though it gets confusing with full-screen). But, I don't like that it replaced the 'esc', volume, etc. keys. For example, controlling the volume is now not nearly as nice.

    The big problem, though, is that it just isn't convenient to look down at the TouchBar to see the options and then reach for it. I suppose for new or non-Pro users, it is an advantage until they learn keyboard (and other) shortcuts... but this is supposedly, a pro product (where it isn't on the consumer models).

    In my use of it so far, it essentially just isn't there (or may as well not be).

    lorin schultz said:
    Some targets are perfect for touch, others are not. That's fine, though. Touch is just another interaction method in addition to the ones that already exist.
    Yea, fair points. This kind of breaks Apple's interface guidelines, but since they are slipping on that so much anyway, maybe it's time to just let it go for things like this?

    lorin schultz said:
    Depends how hard you press, I guess. I accidentally press or swipe the screen on my 2016 MBP-TB all the time and it hasn't been an issue. It wiggles a little, but doesn't reposition the hinge. Even if it did, I'd accept that comparatively minor inconvenience to gain the exponentially more important benefits.
    Yeah, I suppose. I'm just imagining since I don't have a touch-screen laptop. My wife does for work, and she uses it. I also didn't like this about my iPad/keyboard setup, back when I used to do that. It kinda works, but is awkward. But, again, I guess having the choice isn't a bad thing.

    lorin schultz said:
    Why is this an issue for Macs but not iPhones or iPads? How is it any different? You wipe it off once in a while.
    I guess primarily ease of cleaning and use-type. It's really easy to take a phone and wipe it, and only slightly harder to wipe off a tablet. Wiping off a laptops screen is more challenging (especially while it is in use), and I hate having to try and wipe my desktop display. But, again, I guess having the option is fine (aside from any physical issues... like if the screen is more easily damaged or such... but I think they are all glass now anyway).

    Take a look at these screens and figure out how a Touch Bar or trackpad could be implemented in a way that makes them a better solution than a touch screen?
    Yeah, good examples! Note: All pro, speciality type apps though, which doesn't seem to be Apple's focus any longer. It seems more cool to the novice to pick and emoji or slide a slider to adjust the size/tilt of an image in a Pages document, etc. I hope I'm wrong, but that's probably what is driving this.

    DuhSesame said:
    That's what I thought at the first place when I got a 2-in-1.  But then I just get lazy and move the cursor with my trackpad.

    Other than that, if you want to have a laptop with a touch screen, the hinge must be sturdy, but at the same time easy to open (It has to be sturdy, otherwise it feels QC are not there).  It's next to impossible without some really complex design, check out Yoga or Surface Book and see how the hinge stands out.
    Heh, yeah, I'd wonder about that (i.e.: efficiency to just use the trackpad/mouse in the first place). But, for some applications like a studio mixer or broadcast soundboard, I can see where you're maybe not mostly on the keyboard/trackpad anyway. So, just reaching over to the screen would be far quicker.

    re: hinge - Yea, my wife's Levono Miix is more like an easel.

    Soli said:
    That’s a good question and shows that you’re thinking about the logistics.

    If we went back to the original Mac trackpad I’d say it wouldn’t be feasible, but with the current trackpad’s size (along with other advancements, like palm recognition), some or all of an LED-based trackpad could be used in various ways.

    As previously mentioned, with fullscreen apps maybe the right-hand side of the Menu Bar items could be placed on the top of the trackpad where we rarely tap. Or maybe app specific feature.

    For other apps, ike Adobe Lightroom, you have slider tools taking up the top 1/3 or the trackpad. Or, maybe even the entire trackpad if you have an external mouse or trackpad connected, which seems popular with many professionals using MBPs and professional editing tools.

    And if you ever wanted to get the full trackpad back—which would simply turn it to black with no additional power being used since it would an OLED or micro-LED display—you might hit a circle with an ‘X’ in it in the upper left-hand corner of the trackpad, a button on the main display or dropdown item from the Menu Bar for the app, or a keyboard shortcut.

    The T1 chip may not be powerful enough to run this, but a future T-series chip surely could.

    Unlike other paths I see Apple heading down I hold no stock in the concept I’ve set forth in this thread, but I do belinot be it’s possible, I do think it could offer a clear utility, and I do believe that only Apple could pull this off properly.
    I think it really comes down to the complexity of the software. I rarely look down at my trackpad, so I rarely look down at the TouchBar either. The same would go for a keyboard (and the ideas of virtual keyboard). It's a complete pain when using iPhone/iPad that you more or less have to. I can do a bit of typing on an iPad w/o looking down, but it is tough.

    On the other hand, when I used to do a lot of CAD, you've got hundreds of tools in collapsed tool-pallets. Having some kind of 'touch board' that displays them all is quite handy. That's why people who do CAD all day often have special setups or graphics tablets with overlays, etc.

    I guess the question is how niche they should be going built-in, vs just buying specialized equipment for those niche areas. My hunch is that they are actually moving the opposite direction and that this isn't meant for the pro, but more do dumb-down the machine for the non-pro.
  • Reply 115 of 189
    vanfrunikenvanfruniken Posts: 253member
    The touch bar is worse than useless - it took away the real functionality and feedback of physical keys. I hit that stupid Siri button by accident all the time, and what I wouldn't give for a proper escape key! The whole keyboard on the 2016 and newer Macbooks was a huge step backward from the feel and function of the previous generation. After living with it for 8 months, I still hate typing on my 15" 2016 Macbook Pro compared to my 2011 MacBook Air. The feedback was so much better on the older keyboard.
    It will remain useless as long as it isn’t equipped with haptic feedback.
    Way too early to introduce a touch bar for a mainstream model.
    it would constitute a nice experiment if offered as a trackpad with touch display and tactile feedback, for beta testers and enthusiast users, at that.
  • Reply 116 of 189
    gbdocgbdoc Posts: 47member
    Touch bar's like pyjamas on a horse: cute, arguably even cool, but totally unnecessary, let alone useful. Drop it, Apple, save the money for improving the innards.
    cgWerksKITA
  • Reply 117 of 189
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,737member
    vanfruniken said:
    It will remain useless as long as it isn’t equipped with haptic feedback.
    Taptic feedback would be nice, in terms of knowing you did touch it. But, it still doesn't solve the where you touch it problem.
    I don't look down at my keyboard while typing this.... so I don't look down at a TouchBar to see what is even there in the first place. I also don't look down at my trackpad or mouse.

    IMO, this is more a UI crutch to help people get over the hump of learning menu options and keyboard shortcuts, gestures, etc. I just don't yet see usefulness beyond that. I do, as Lorin points out, see the usefulness of touch-screen.
    lorin schultz
  • Reply 118 of 189
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 315member
    cgWerks said:
    DuhSesame said:
    From what I've gathered, most who said "no" on the touch bar simply didn't get the benefit, since they all can remember where shortcuts are and living with that for a decade. Adding a slider or certain new functions won't do any good.  There is one though, that actually thinks the touch bar actually speeds up his debugging process.
    ...
    Lastly, I think it might be better to just let the communities to explore.  I know their guidelines prohibit anything "dynamic", but that's a wasted potential.  Touch bar can be pretty good at handling secondary functions, adding a tiny clock or even system monitoring software doesn't seem too bad.  In fact that's what some people did in BetterTouchTool.  It also offers deep customization (even the one that wouldn't allowed before) and able to swap presets within apps.  Besides, there is a way to utilize the Taptic Engine under your trackpad to give the touch bar a haptic feedback, as well as adding audible one.  I think there are quiet the potential, it's just not in the right hands.
    Sort of... yes. I think the TouchBar is nice as an auxiliary, always-there display, kind of like the menu-bar used to be (and still is, though it gets confusing with full-screen). But, I don't like that it replaced the 'esc', volume, etc. keys. For example, controlling the volume is now not nearly as nice.

    The big problem, though, is that it just isn't convenient to look down at the TouchBar to see the options and then reach for it. I suppose for new or non-Pro users, it is an advantage until they learn keyboard (and other) shortcuts... but this is supposedly, a pro product (where it isn't on the consumer models).

    In my use of it so far, it essentially just isn't there (or may as well not be).

    DuhSesame said:
    That's what I thought at the first place when I got a 2-in-1.  But then I just get lazy and move the cursor with my trackpad.

    Other than that, if you want to have a laptop with a touch screen, the hinge must be sturdy, but at the same time easy to open (It has to be sturdy, otherwise it feels QC are not there).  It's next to impossible without some really complex design, check out Yoga or Surface Book and see how the hinge stands out.
    Heh, yeah, I'd wonder about that (i.e.: efficiency to just use the trackpad/mouse in the first place). But, for some applications like a studio mixer or broadcast soundboard, I can see where you're maybe not mostly on the keyboard/trackpad anyway. So, just reaching over to the screen would be far quicker.

    re: hinge - Yea, my wife's Levono Miix is more like an easel.
    The whole "esc" issue is definitely their fault, a quit button that quits working...

    I wonder if people can remember their layouts on the touch bar, though.  What Apple offers now are certainly the opposite, but having evenly-divided sections with two or three keys for each seems to do the trick.  Of course, adding haptic feedbacks will help. Other than that, I found myself still have to use my eyes if I really want to make a precise strike on function keys -- not necessarily to "look down", but rather give a quick glance.  I know, but even I can remember the keys, sometimes I still do.  I think that's because every computers have different layout on function keys.

    I see what the touch screens are trying to go, if you looked at Surface line of products, especially things like Surface Studio which built for drawing in mind.  But Microsoft target their products primarily for creative professionals who draws a lot, and yet, millions of software out there simply incompatible.  That could be a waste other than their target audiences.  Also, people use drawing boards for years, certainly not something very unique for a desktop.  It's a difference story if you have a portable, but laptops or any other clamshells aren't really designed for that in the first place.  Surface Books end up with a hinge that can't fold completely, Yogas on the other hand still have a much more complex hinge that bothers to look at, and rest of the 2-in-1s are just not sturdy.  (The one rotates in the center might works best in order to transfer into tablet mode, but still won't solve the problem of screen flipping).
    edited July 8 cgWerks
  • Reply 119 of 189
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,923member
    Soli said:
    The comments on this thread are odd. On the hand people say that the Touch Bar replacing the minimally used 'fn' keys are a failure because they lack a tactile response, but then you have others (or maybe the same people) wanting the entire keyboard replaced with a giant touchscreen. How the hell is that going to work?

    One might qualify their argument to say that Apple could invent some haptic and electrostatic solution that would make the keys feel like physical keys, but if they can't do that with the much simpler, smaller, and cheaper Touch Bar why would you think this would be possible with a 4.5"×10" version? I'm all for that sci-fi notion becoming a reality but I think we should assume it will start small and work itself into a larger version once all the bugs are worked out. Is there even any evidence that this could be happening anytime soon in any regard? Apple patents, for example?

    There have been a lot of patents involving virtual keyboards/touch input areas/haptic or air feedback/etc. The Touch Bar in tandem with shallower key travel and the enlarged Trackpad (which doesn't seem to serve any purpose other than working to keep taking over more real estate with the eventual goal to expand function) definitely look like the baby steps in that direction.

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2017/05/apple-continues-to-advance-a-hybrid-notebook-with-a-reconfigurable-surface-supporting-a-virtual-keyboard-more.html

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2011/02/apple-talks-up-smart-bezels-live-reconfigurable-macbooks.html

    and even earlier...

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2011/07/apple-invents-new-flat-keyless-keyboard-for-desktops-more.html

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2011/05/apple-explores-keyboards-using-an-advanced-air-feedback-system.html

    http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2011/01/apple-pushes-research-into-motion-keyboards-for-macbooks.html

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/09/06/apple_touch_typing_tech_could_lead_to_backside_input_for_tablets


    Rayz2016
  • Reply 120 of 189
    KITAKITA Posts: 145member
    gbdoc said:
    Touch bar's like pyjamas on a horse: cute, arguably even cool, but totally unnecessary, let alone useful. Drop it, Apple, save the money for improving the innards.
    Agreed!

    I mean, just look at this:


    cgWerks
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